Saturday, 3 February 2007

The scapegoat

The latest NIE report has confirmed that 'Iraqi-on-Iraqi' violence is the 'primary' danger to the US and to the frail nation of Iraq itself as it descends into even more civil strife. The report, prepared by the United States government itself — why do you think it makes headlines? — barely mentions Iran. And yet Iran still remains the Bush administrations primary scapegoat for its troubles in Iraq — hold Al Qaeda.

There is even more on this administration always needing a pure evil enemy; the enemy that messes up all Bush’s plans and causes all the problems. In the case of Iraq policy, one of these enemies — although not a purely superficial, political one — is Iran. I talked about Iran’s role in Iraq and the American politics connected to it in this post.

Is the presence of foreign troops just making the violence worse? Are United States troops a scapegoat for sectarian causes and terrorist recruitment? All signs point to yes; but it is hard to know for sure. What’s funny is that the US also uses Iran and other foreign bodies as scapegoats too for the problems in Iraq.

I’m certainly not saying American troops need to leave now — or even soon. What I am saying is there’s a time and place for Bush’s rhetoric: on the campaign trail. For a topic as serious as a war affecting many civilians and soldiers, political spin is leading to evasiveness of rightful policy and communication with the public. For a man as religious as this current president, one might think he would feel some form of morals and ethics over dirty politics. I guess not.

Whether it is something non-concrete like terrorism or something questionable and hyped like Iran, Bush always needs a demon, an enemy, even a scapegoat for his policy — in his mind — to work, or look like it's working.

Bush has an extreme “us against them”, “you’re with us or you’re with the enemy” mentality — very polarizing and damaging to vital debate on such issues as national security and scientific ethics.

Song stuck in my head right now: "Chocolate" by Snow Patrol.

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